Welfare reforms on track under James Purnell despite Peter Hain’s departure from DWP post

New work and pensions secretary James Purnell has been backed to drive through the welfare reforms led by Peter Hain until his resignation last week.

Sara McKee, group commercial director for private sector welfare-to-work provider A4e, said she was confident the reshuffle would not slow down the reforms.

Hain spoke in November about an increased chance for private firms such as A4e to win contracts to find jobs for long-term unemployed people.

He resigned from his role at the Department of Work and Pensions last week after enquiries about donations to his deputy leadership campaign were referred to the police.

Purnell was quickly appointed to replace him, and hit the ground running with a speech alongside Gordon Brown yesterday.

McKee told Personnel Today: “You would naturally worry that there would be a hiatus with the new secretary of state, but so far there has not been.

“We are not worried about the changeover slowing down the reforms as we believe the government is determined to push them through.

“I suspect that under James Purnell a lot of the Freud Review will be implemented.”

Former investment banker David Freud first called for a greater role for the private and voluntary sectors in welfare reform last March.

Comments are closed.